Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing When Big Duke walked into the Darren Weir operation 270 days ago, the Sydney Cup wasn’t thought about. In fact, racing “wasn’t really thought about”, the country’s most successful trainer just wanted a happy horse.
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Happy chappy: Big Duke races away in the Chairman’s Handicap at Randwick. Photo: bradleyphotos.com.au Weir has had more than 320 wins this season – former English stayer Big Duke has provided five of them – from a system that is about the horse first.”You look after them and the results will follow,” Weir said. “When we get these horses from England we don’t have a plan.”We get them into the system and just get them happy. Racing is not on a deadline.”Some take four months to get to the races, some take six months, some don’t get there at all.
“It is about getting them to acclimatise to our conditions and having them happy. Once you have them happy they take care of themselves.”Big Duke made it all the way to Sydney Cup day two weeks ago, his results had him favourite for the now-infamous abandoned race. The fact that he is back a fortnight later doesn’t worry Weir.The imported stayer was one of the horses pulled when the race was called off. He has been home to the beach at Warrnambool and continued his work and returns “in good shape”. “He stopped halfway around [during the first running of the Sydney Cup] and really he is still in the same shape. He was in the perfect spot when the race was called off and we never got to see what would happen.”We just hope he is in the same spot again at the 1000 and we will find out if he stays.” Big Duke is a stayer in te…